LHR was created in 1988 by the newly merged Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce to facilitate the creation of a truly regional organization and to create regional leaders.

        The first class of LHR graduated in 1989 and was composed of 40 young emerging leaders….including Daun Hester, Sharon McDonald, Warren Harris and Fred Napolitano.

        In the late ‘90s LHR broadened its scope to reflect the broad demographics of the Southside Hampton Roads region.

        In 1997 LHR hired its first full-time staff member.

        In 2000 LHR expanded its recruiting throughout the entire 17 communities.

        Leadership offerings expand to include the LHR Education Academy, Ignite Chesapeake (2003) and eXcel Leadership Academy.

       In 2000 alumni vote to open events such as the State of the Region to the entire community.

       In 2001 the Board Partnership Initiative was created.

       In 2004 we won the Community Leadership Association’s national Preceptor Award.

       In 2008 the State of the Region drew more than 800 leaders.

       Today we have more than 1,300 graduates serving the region.